Fifth Annual ASMEA Conference Schedule

History and the “New” Middle East and Africa

October 11-13, 2012 |Key Bridge Marriott Hotel | Washington, D.C.


Thursday, October 11

6:00 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.

Welcome Reception

Remarks by: H.E. Houda Ezra Nonoo, Ambassador of the Kingdom of Bahrain


Friday, October 12

7:30 a.m. – 8:15 a.m.



8:30 a.m. – 10:00 a.m.

PANEL 1: “Adaptation & Response: Forging New Paths in Africa”

• Misdirected Agricultural Strategy in Uganda
• The Obstacles and Challenges to Democratic Consolidation in Madagascar (1992-2009)
• Plagues and Pestilences in Samburuland, c. 1869 – c. 1893
• Economic Emancipation and Family Formation: “Modern Marriage” as the Pathway from Poverty in Nationalist-Era Cameroon, 1950-1965

PANEL 2: “Clash & Discovery: Britain and France in Egypt”

• Between Scylla and Charybdis: The Misadventure of French Engineers in Egypt with Napoleon Bonaparte’s Army
• Rashid Twists the Lion’s Tail, The British Disaster at Rosetta
• Oriental Illusions: Response of the Muslim Population to Bonaparte’s Expedition in Egypt and Syria, 1798-1799

PANEL 3: “Israel: Threats Real and Imagined”

• Israel’s Secret Weapon of Optimism: Is it Still There?
• Gilad Shalit from the Palestinian Strategic Perspective
• The Jewish Extremist Threat to Israeli Security and the Effectiveness of the Government’s Response Measures


8:30 a.m. – 10:00 a.m.

ROUNDTABLE A: “Arab Springs Eternal: What Holds for the ‘New’ Middle East”

• Redefining the Post-Nation State Emergence Stage in the Middle East in Light of the “Arab Spring”
(Prof. Alexander Bligh)
• Horns of a Human Capital Dilemma: How Investment in Human Capital Led to the Arab Spring
(Prof. Johannes Fedderke)
• Demographics, Economics, and Technology: Backgrounds to the North African Revolutions
(Prof. Ricardo René Larémont)
• Gaddafi’s Downfall and its Impact on Sub-Saharan Africa
(Dr. Gérard Prunier)

10:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

PANEL 1: New-Old Salafi/Al Qaeda Threats

• Cyberspace Improvised Explosive Device and the Failed State Catapult
• Why Are Consensus Views So Often Wrong in Regional Security Studies?
• Sufi or Salafi: Concept of the Sacred? Treatment of Sahelian Saints’ Tombs as Idiom of a Deeper Debat

PANEL 2: “Cinema, Identity, and Film in the Middle East and North Africa”

• In and Out of North Africa: Jewish Women’s Identity in French Film
• Jewish-Arab Relations Through the Lense of Israeli Cinema, Then and Now
• Optimistic Peace Prospects: Jews and Muslims in Recent French Cinema

PANEL 3: “Israel’s Search for Peace and Progress at Home and Abroad”

• Contemporary Middle Eastern Harshness in the Application of Death Penalty: Why Israel is the Only Abolitionist?
• Oslo +20: Reassessing the Role of Confidence Building Measures
• Camp David 2012: Analysis of a Failure Foretold
• How Israel Returned to Africa: An Update


10:45 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

ROUNDTABLE B: “Non-Compliance: International Law in the Middle East”

• The International Laws of Terrorism and the Arab States
(Prof. Abraham Bell)
• Iranian Terrorism and Sovereign Immunity
(Mr. Allan Gerson)
• Iran’s Ayatollahs and International Law
(Prof. Orde Kittrie)
• The Legal Status of Settlements: Western Sahara, Cyprus, and the West Bank
(Prof. Eugene Kontorovich)


12:30 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.

Banquet Luncheon and Keynote Address

“Two Years Later: Realities of the Arab Spring”
Prof. Kanan Makiya


2:15 p.m. – 3:45 p.m.

PANEL 1: “Law, Doctrine, and Fatwa: Fuel for Islamic Political and Military Thinking”

• Jihad or Qatal? Examining Al Qaeda’s Modus Operandi
• The Shari’a of Lawful Military Jihad: Sayyid Imam, Ayman al-Zawahiri, and the Dispute over the Islamic Legality of 9/11
• Possibility of Applying the Autopoiesis Theory to the Shari’a and Qanun in Egypt as a Plurality of Legal Systems and its Alternative
• The Political Theory of the Kitab al-Kharaj: Defining the Mainstream of Islamic Political Thought

PANEL 2: “Iraq and Iran: How and Why They Fight”

• The Babak Khorramdin Organization: The Messenger of the New Iranian Nationality?
• Heroism in the Islamic Revolution of Iran: A Philological Query
• History for a Purpose: An Analysis of ‘Saddam’s Qadisiyyah’
• Defying Conventional Wisdom: Iraq as a Case Study of Proliferation and Disarmament

PANEL 3: “Christian – Muslim Encounters in the Medieval Middle East”

• Some Methodical Considerations for the Study of the Historic and Currents Encounters between Eastern Christians and Muslim Communities
• The Arabic Karšuni: an Attempt to Preserve the Maronite Identity in Aleppo, Syria
• Muslim Conversions to Christianity in the Islamic World, 700-1000 AD
• The Status of Monks in Egypt under Early Mamluk Rule: The Case of Ibn Taymiyya


2:30 p.m. – 3:45 p.m.

ROUNDTABLE C: “The Causes and Consequences of Getting the Arab Spring Wrong: A Discussion”

(Prof. Richard Allen Landes; Dr. Robert Satloff; Mr. Lee Smith; Mr. Eric Trager)


4:15 p.m. – 5:45 p.m.

PANEL 1: “African Struggles: Colonial and Post-Colonial”

• The Genesis of the Modern Eritrean Struggle (1942-1961)
• The Influence of British Propaganda on the Palestinian Problem on Northern Nigerian Muslims, 1915-1948
• South Sudan: Assessing Initial Conditions and Growth Prospects
• The Interrogation and Trial of General China

PANEL 2: “Topics in Modern Middle East Conflict and Foreign Relations”

• Bahraini Revolution in the Eyes of the Expatriate Community: The Mixed Experience
• Iran’s Nuclear Program and Russian Relations with the U.S.: Hopes and Concerns
• Russia and the Persian Gulf: Trade, Energy, and Interdependence

PANEL 3: “Strategic Actions: Western Militaries in the 20th Century Middle East”

• Western Influence on Arab Militaries: Pounding Square Pegs into Round Holes
• Indian Morale in the Mesopotamia Campaign, 1914-1917
• U.S. Marine Corps Intelligence in Desert Shield/ Desert Storm, 1990-1991
• Submarine Warfare and Anti-submarine Warfare in the Persian Gulf Region in World War II


4:30 p.m. – 5:45 p.m.

Roundtable D: “Persecution, Resistance and Flight: Christian Communities in the Modern Middle East”

(Dr. Dwight Bashir; Mr. Raymond Ibrahim; Dr. Amal Marogy; Prof. Franck Salameh; Ms. Juliana Taimoorazy)


8:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m.

Film Screenings

• A Screaming Man
• The Wedding Song


Saturday, October 13

8:00 a.m. – 8:30 a.m.



8:45 a.m. – 10:15 a.m.

PANEL 1: “Identity, Politics, and Corruption in Ghana and Nigeria”

• A New Nation and Western Labor: Ghana and the International Confederation of Free Trade Unions in the 1950s
• The Politics of Corruption in Nigeria: The Role of Civil Society Organizations and the Media

PANEL 2: “Women and Cultures of Resistance in the Midst of National Disenchantment”

• Kenizé Mourad and Early Middle Eastern Feminism
• Fissures of Trespass in the Midst of National Disenchantments
• Transcending Conventional Alignments and Oppositional Systems: Leila Abouzeid and Houria Boussejra
• National Disenchantment in Hédi Béji: Perspectives on Women, Nation, and Baudrillard’s Simulacra

PANEL 3: “Turkey’s New Directions: Foreign and Domestic”

• Turkey under a Decade of the Justice and Development Party (JDP) Rule: The Question of Democracy and Secularism
• Can Turkey and the U.S. Develop Substantial Cooperation in the Middle East?


9:00 a.m. – 10:15 a.m.

ROUNDTABLE A: “Iran in the New Middle East: A Preliminary Balance Sheet”

(Prof. Ronen Cohen; Mr. Mehdi Kaleji; Prof. Ofira Seliktar)


10:45 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.

PANEL 1: “Constructing Dreams with Literature and Architecture”

• Contribution of Middle East to European Architecture
• The Conscript: An Early Indigenous-African Novel about Libyans, Eritreans, and Italians in a Colonial War Zone
• The Alternative to the Regime as Reflected in Iraqi Communist Literature
• Faith, Politics, and Design: Examining the Nigerian National Mosque and the National Christian Centre in Abuja

PANEL 2: “Human Capital and the Outcomes of the Arab Spring”

• Globalization and State Formation in the “New” Middle East: Comparing the UAE and Jordan
• Women Participating in the Public Sphere in Tunisia: From Early Voluntary Associations to the Social Networking Media of the Arab Spring
• Democratization is Not the Answer; Mixed Constitutional Government is – America’s Mideast Foreign Policy after the Arab Spring

PANEL 3: “Interfaith Relations across Time”

• The Vatican and Islam: Cooperation, Détente or Back to the Future
• Secularization and the Politics of Land Administration: the Case of the Orthodox Patriarchate of Jerusalem, from the Ottoman Times to the British Mandate
• Muhammad and the Jews According to Ibn Ishaq


12:30 p.m.



1:00 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.

PANEL 1: “Preparing to Fight: Lessons Learned and Lost”

• Civil-Military Efforts in Post-Conflict Reconstruction: Have the Lessons of Vietnam Been Followed?
• Implications of Wartime Resource Capture and Post-War Corruption in South Sudan
• Indigenous Combat Forces in the Middle East and Africa: A Historical Perspective on a Current Reality

PANEL 2: “Identities in the Modern Middle East”

• The Transformation of Iraqi National Identity, Social and Political Structure between 1991 and 2003
• Looking at Alawites
• The Arab Autumn of Salt: The Arab Spring and the Crisis of Transnational Islamic Identity
• Imazighen Security: Why Does Identity Matter in North Africa?

PANEL 3: “Topics in African Politics”

• Democratization in Contemporary Francophone Africa: Causes and Costs of Conflicts in the 1998 and 2005 Presidential Elections in Togo
• Somalia’s “Pirate Cycle”: The Three Phases of Somali Piracy
• The Politics of Transparency and the Ethics of Open Sources: Digital Mapping in Nairobi’s Informal Settlements


3:00 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.

PANEL 1: “Topics in the Middle East and Africa”

• Water Scarcity: A Future Source of Armed Conflict between Jordan and Israel
• To Build and Be Built: Strategic Culture and the Birth of the Israeli Settlement Movement
• War and Memory in Iran: The Iranian Revolutionary Guards’ Representations of the Iran-Iraq War
• Ahmadi: We are the People not the mob!

PANEL 2: “Domestic Politics and Foreign Relations in the Middle East”

• Upgraded Authoritarianism or Emerging Democracy? What the Legitimization Strategies of Yemen’s Old Regime Mean for its New Government
• Between Scylla and Charybdis: Understanding the Dynamics of Lebanese Foreign Policy
• Qajar Foreign Policy and the Anglo-Persian War of 1856-57
• Historical Parallels in Responding to Power Preponderance: Gulf States and Saudi Arabia